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Buddhadharma : Fall 2011
75 fall 2 01 1 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly This didn’t mean that teaching an autistic child to ride a bicycle would be as easy as it would be with some other children. With no preconceived bench- marks of achievement, we entered her world of fun, and went moment by moment with her through this experi- ence. It was quite a discipline for us, like a moving mantra to keep our sense of the positive and fun throughout the process. She is now an accomplished and safe cyclist, and we share many great days of riding together on local trails. The process of growth we pursued has yielded a belief that nirvana is available this very moment, and every succeeding moment. Our nature is not different from the Buddha’s. Moment- to-moment awareness offers us a way to experience this. Intellectually, we enjoyed debating and pursuing the doc- trine on emptiness. But being immersed in our daughter’s world and having to let go of our illusions made it more than an intellectual exercise. It made the teach- ings come to life. Without our daughter, I believe I would have remained an intel- lectual Buddhist fighting my illusions, never experiencing where letting go of them could lead. Cycling may not be the best example, but it was one of the ways we made the process real, bringing it off the pages of a book and transforming not only our daughter’s life but the lives of many others. Our daughter’s journey is exciting, yet it can still evoke states of depression within us. One moment she may dis- play subtle insights and awareness, and in the next we may feel some embar- rassment because of her lack of social awareness, or rage because of how she is being treated by members of society. It’s easy to slip into negative and frus- trated thinking. During these times we are reminded of the real value of the dis- cipline of meditation. There is no Disney-movie ending here. This is an ongoing story of try- ing to remain present in each moment, no matter how difficult, and finding help from an unexpected source—the dharma teachings on emptiness. kriStiefry Like a great river, the dharma is deep and wide. Because the dharma addresses the deepest questions of life, we publish Buddhadharma for those pursuing a long-term practice and study of Buddhism. Because it benefits a wide range of people, we offer a Buddhist-inspired perspective on all the important issues of life today in the Shambhala Sun. And for those who may not be looking for a new religion or philosophy but want to bring the scientifically proven benefits of meditation into their lives, we are launching our important new initiative, Mindful: Living with Awareness and Compassion, and Mindful.org. The Shambhala Sun Foundation is devoted to serving the dharma fully, in both its depth and breadth. Your contribution will enable us to fulfill this important mission—to help the dharma put down deep and genuine roots in the West, and bring its wisdom and practice to all who need it. To donate online, go to www.shambhalasun.com/donate. Or you can call toll-free at 1-877-422-8404 ext. 36, or mail your contribution to Shambhala Sun, 1426 Pearl St., Ste. 420, Boulder, CO, 80302- 5340, or in Canada to Shambhala Sun, 1660 Hollis St., Ste. 701, Halifax NS B3J 1V7 SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. Buddhadharma THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SHAMBHALA SUN BUDDHISM CULTURE MEDITATION LIFE Help Us Serve the Dharma